Tag Archives: mystery

Book Review – The Labyrinth of the Scriptorium

The Labyrinth of the Scriptorium book coverThe Labyrinth of the Scriptorium by Hitoshi Goto

Reminiscent of Agatha Christie or Arthur Conan Doyle, reading The Labyrinth of the Scriptorium, is like peeling back onion layers of mystery upon mystery upon mystery. Mr. Goto’s novel is an intricately woven and well-written story. It is not a casual read as it requires the reader’s full attention. But while sometimes frustrating in its complexity, I believe it is worthwhile; a gripping, historical mystery.


*Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this novel with a request for an honest review.*

Book Review – Emerald Green

Emerald Green book coverEmerald Green by Lindsay Marie Miller

Addie Smith dreamt of a mysterious, handsome boy and then suddenly, he showed up at her school. She immediately feels drawn to Tom Sutton, but he is part of a dark past that is threatening to come to light. Ms. Miller is a promising author. Her descriptions are very well written, but it’s her characters that need work. Both Addie and Tom feel flat throughout the course of the story. Sure, they grow closer and you discover things about them that are necessary for the plot but I never felt wholly connected to them. Also, the story never feels completely fleshed out. Maybe that’s because this is the beginning of a series (and slight spoiler, ends in a cliffhanger) but I was left wanting to know more about the mystery at the center of the plot. Overall, I would call Emerald Green worth the time but also not as great as it could have been.

*Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this novel with a request for an honest review.*

Book Review – Borrower of the Night

Borrower of the Night book coverBorrower of the Night by Elizabeth Peters

I’ve heard good things about Elizabeth Peters’ mysteries, but this one was just average. I feel that her characters are not very fleshed out. Her heroine, Vicky Bliss, is interesting enough but her insecurities about her looks get old after constant repeating and seems at odds with the fact that every single male character professes to want to marry her very soon after meeting. The mystery elements were fairly good although I think the plot gets bogged down in the middle with unnecessary drama. Overall, it was nothing special but an okay read.

Book Review – Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold book coverKitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the first in a series of novels about a young woman detective who flies around the world in a De Havilland Beaver floatplane. It is also another example of a self-published book with imaginative and interesting ideas but less-than-stellar execution. The writing felt unsophisticated and, while there were no overt errors, it did have some grammar issues, i.e. ending sentences with prepositions. But more importantly, I felt that Mr. Reading did not do a very good job of incorporating all of the real-life history into his adventure story. At times, the prose simply felt like a history lesson. I did like the protagonist, Kitty Hawk. Aside from her annoying idiosyncrasy of talking to herself inside her head all the time, she is an independent, strong female character. The action does pick up toward the end but overall, I feel like this was a missed opportunity.

*Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this novel with a request for an honest review.*

Book Review – Kissed a Sad Goodbye

Kissed a Sad Goodbye book coverKissed a Sad Goodbye by Deborah Crombie

Yes, it’s that time again. Another Deborah Crombie Kincaid/James mystery! Although it was not as enthralling and dramatic as the previous entry, Dreaming of the Bones, Kissed a Sad Goodbye did not disappoint. I know I’ve become a broken record when it comes to extolling the virtues of Deborah Crombie’s character development but, for me, it is the best part of her writing and something that is sorely lacking from many novels. I also found the mystery elements in Kissed a Sad Goodbye to be entertaining. The plot jumps back and forth between the present day murder investigation and an intriguing backstory that takes place during the Second World War. If you, like me, enjoy a good English mystery novel, please give Deborah Crombie a try.

Book Review – Dreaming of the Bones

Dreaming of the BonesDreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie

Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid’s ex-wife, Victoria, the one who walked out on him ten years ago, needs a favor. She asks him to look into the five-year old suicide of a troubled local poet that she has been researching. Kincaid surprises everyone, including himself, when he agrees to re-open the closed case. However, the deeper he and partner, Gemma James, go into the past, the more evidence turns up supporting Victoria’s claims that the poet was actually murdered. This is the best Kincaid/James mystery that I’ve read so far. All of Deborah Crombie’s mysteries are impeccable, multi-layered, character-driven stories with believable endings and “Dreaming of the Bones” is no different but it was also tense and left the main characters forever changed by the end. I’ve recommended Deborah Crombie’s mysteries before and I will continue to do so.

Book Review – Leave the Grave Green

Leave the Grave GreenLeave the Grave Green by Deborah Crombie

Deborah Crombie has filled the Agatha Christie-sized hole that was left in my life when I finished the final Hercule Poirot novel. Ms. Crombie’s novels are set in modern times but are also thoroughly British and excellent police procedural mysteries. “Leave the Grave Green” is the third book featuring Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. Unlike Christie’s Poirot & his side-kicks, Ms. Crombie’s protagonists have been changing and growing throughout her series. It is one of the main reasons that her books are so compelling to me. Her characters are believable and appealing. The mystery elements are formulaic but that doesn’t bother me having tore through 40+ Poirot novels over the course of a couple years. I apologize in advance if this blog becomes clogged with Deborah Crombie mystery novels, I’ll do my best to space them out. 🙂